After many years of development Space Launch System (SLS) of the US agency is aiming for a maiden flight this summer (now August 29 at the earliest). In its current Block 1 version, the giant launcher reaches 111.25 m in height and just over 2,600 tons at launch. It is being prepared at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for Artemis Ihis first assignment.
Model Moonikin Campos
The purpose of Artemis I, as part of NASA’s Artemis Return to and on the Moon program, is to send an Orion capsule around our natural satellite uninhabited equipped with a service module provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). After several lunar orbits, the spacecraft will return to land on Earth, making it possible to concretely test the flight plan for Artemis II, which this time will carry 4 astronauts.
However, The Artemis I mission is not completely devoid of “passengers”. To measure the ability of Orion and its service module to maintain an environment suitable for astronauts, a dummy loaded with sensors was recently installed on board the capsule.
The name of Order Moonikin Campos is a tribute to Arturo Campos (1934-2001). Born in Texas to a Mexican-American family, this electrical engineer established the procedures to ensure that the Apollo 13 capsule had enough power, thus ensuring the return to Earth of Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert.
However, the Commander Moonikin Campos doll is not the only anthropomorphic device designed to peer into Orion’s life support. The German space institute DLR and the Israeli space agency respectively provide Helga and Zohar. Both are reproductions of female torsos that will measure the effects of radiation.
The study of the impact of radiation is proving to be a crucial topic for future lunar missions, as the exposure to, around and on our natural satellite is greater than that of the International Space Station. The Zohar is also equipped with the AstroRad protective jacket, so the comparison with the Helga makes it possible to assess the effectiveness of the device (designed for men and women).
Shaun and Snoopy
The importance of Artemis I in terms of the US lunar program, which the European, Japanese and Canadian agencies have joined, also explains the presence of more symbolic “passengers” to address a large audience. that famous philosopher dog Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon by Charles Shulz will travel in the form of a plush dressed in an orange jumpsuit. Since the Apollo program, Snoopy has played NASA’s security mascot.
European participation (remember that ESA supplies the Orion service module manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space) will be symbolized by Shaun the Sheep. The resourceful herbivore was created by the Englishman Nick Park as part of an adventure by the cartoon duo Wallace and Gromit (stop-motion animated film).
In 2022, Shaun the sheep celebrates the 15th anniversary of the animated TV series dedicated to him. Echoing the character’s humor, ESA’s director of manned and robotic exploration David Parker notes that “though that’s one small step for a man, that’s one giant leap for a lamb(using the coined term in English lambskin which merge together lamb for lamb and humanity for humanity).
Shaun and Snoopy will not be the only symbolic “passengers” of Artemis I. As is traditional for missions of this importance, historical elements will make the journey a a piece of fabric from the wings of the Wright brothers’ airplane (as in Apollo 11) or a bolt from one of the 5 F-1 engines in the Apollo 11 Saturn V launch vehicle (from the propellant recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic during an expedition funded by Jeff Bezos).
Long associated with the promotion of scientific research by NASA, Lego will be represented on board Orion of Kate, Kyle, Sebastian and Julia. These miniature astronauts take on the small characters of the famous Danish brand of construction toys (video below).
Finally, remember that those who had completed an online form in time will see their names recorded in computer memories installed in Orion, flying to the Moon.